Thinking of joining the Military
As the title would suggest, lately I've been strongly considering joining the United States' beloved Armed Forces. This is a desire that has been in the back of my mind for a very long time, but it is now in the front of my mind. I know that there are many honorable men and women who have served in uniform on Bullshido, and I am hoping for whatever insight you can give me.
I am 27 years old, which I know is older than most people who are enlisting for the first time, but still young enough that I can just barely qualify to enlist in any branch of the Military.
So far, the only recruiters I've spoken directly to have been from the Navy. Originally, my first thought was joining the Air Force because all through childhood and well into high school I wanted to be a fighter pilot (I have immaculate vision and physical ability, but I'm a fit 215 lbs, and just might be too large for a cockpit but I don't know). I fully intend to speak to recruiters from all branches to gather as much information as possible.
While I was at the recruiters' office today, they had me take a practice version of the ASVAB to predict what my score would be. I answered every question correctly, which predicts that I would get a perfect score on the ASVAB. I have filled out the form and scheduled the real test for Thursday at 2:00 pm.
I have approximately 70 college credits, which according to the recruiters would allow me to enter the service as an E-3 once I've completed Basic Training. During my time in the Military, I would hope to complete a college degree and rise to the ranks of officers.
My reasons for wanting to join are many. I know that there are incomparable benefits to joining, everything from education assistance to technical training to potential for advancement. But in reality, those logistical types of benefits are secondary to me. When I think it over in my head, the reasons that really stick out to me are the immeasurable ones. Honor, duty, patriotism, things like that. I have always held our men and women in uniform in the highest regard, and instead of looking in from the outside, I realize that I can be one of those guys if I choose to be. I also am completely confident that I can excel on merit and ability.
I'm not tied to any particular branch, and I'm completely open to serving in any of them.
The purpose of this thread is to seek out advice and experience from as many of our servicemen as possible. If you'll be so kind as to share with me, I'd like to know what branch you serve in, what your experience has been, and any and all advice you might be able to offer.
Finally, to all of you who have served, I offer you my gratitude.
One piece of advice I would give, regardless of branch of service, is to find out about the advancement rates for the last 2 or 3 promotion cycles for the MOS/rate you're thinking about. I could provide you more specific info about the Navy's advanced electronics rates and some general info about the navy, but it's outdated by about 12 years.
There are some good threads in the Armory from vets and people currently serving.
From my conversation with the Navy recruiters, two of the possible job opportunities I would be most interested would be Nuclear Tech (or, more broadly, a high tech type of field) and the SEALs. If I enlist, I want to achieve something meaningful, and I feel that the best way to do that is to succeed at the hardest possible thing I'm capable of.
Originally Posted by hapkido_keith
That's a good thing to inquire about, one that I hadn't considered. I want to make the most informed decision possible, so I will definitely be sure to ask about that. Thank you.
I will read through the Armory in depth. Normally, I try to be good at pre-reading older threads before posting a new thread of my own. In this case, it's a major decision for me and I admittedly wanted to try to garner as much attention as possible.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
Well there is one that talks about testing, promises, recruiters, and what to watch out for before you sign up. I can't remember the title, but I know Cassius posted in it when he came back.
LOL@70hours get your ass back to school. I'm glad I can say that to someone.
Yeah, no kidding, I need to get back to school. Not only that, but a redirection in life overall. I won't go into the long version, but there came a point where I had to focus on working a lot to support myself. I've been back to school, but can only manage 1 or 2 classes a semester.
Joining the military wouldn't be only about school, but it's certainly an attractive benefit. And thanks for bringing that thread to my attention. I'll definitely be reading it and many others.
I just recently graduated and had more random credits than you. I'll see if I can find the thread. It had some really good info.
I'm thinking about the same thing. National guard. Acellerated citizenship, benefits, measly student loan repayment is a good motivator but deep down inside it is because everyone in my family has served, even my father in law. Everyone in the family tells me not to bother but how can I now?
My concerns are getting pulled into active service when my career is so new, wife wants a baby, etc. Though, everyone in the military has made those sacrifices, but I'll be kidding myself if I did not say that is heavy on my mind.
After citizenship I would try out for JAG. I'll probably do army. Decisions decisions decisions.. On one hand I want to wait and see if I can get a kick ass job, but on the other hand I'm 25 and I'm only getting older..
No one thinks about recruiters screwing you by putting you in a rate that has zero advancement opportunities, but I've seen it happen. However, if your asvab scores are as high as you say, the Navy recruiter is going to try like mad to get you into the nuclear program. Nuke is a 6 year commitment, the first 2 years are training. The training program is TOUGH (I've heard attrition numbers of 30 and 50%, but these are rumors).
Originally Posted by TaeBo_Master
I went through an advanced electronics program, also a 6 year deal (I don't have a military tag because I generally don't like to wear it on my sleeve and didn't ask for one). It was a pretty intense program too, my guess would be 10 to 15% dropped out. The 6 year enlistments come with an automatic advancement to E-4 when you pass your training. This sounds like a good deal, but you will actually advance slower than if you took a 4 year enlistment, as you only have to spend a minimum of 6 months as an E-3 before you are eligible to test for advancement.
If you have any more specific questions I can try to answer.